'Not easy to get home advantage at Chinnaswamy' - RCB's director of cricket

What's gone wrong with Siraj this season? (2:54)

Moody and McClenaghan chat about what's not working for the RCB bowler compared to the 2023 IPL (2:54)

Mo Bobat, Royal Challengers Bengaluru's director of cricket, feels it is "not easy to gain home advantage" at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Over the years, RCB have struggled to convert their home venue into a fortress, and this year has been no different. Alongside Punjab Kings, they have the joint-worst home record in IPL 2024, with just one win from their three home games.

"Winning at home is quite tricky [for us]," Bobat said on the eve of their next home game, against Sunrisers Hyderabad. "It's a sort of ground - because of its small boundaries - that is a bit more of a leveller. So it's quite hard to get home advantage compared to a bigger ground. Or if there are conditions that tilt one way or the other, you can try to build your team to maximise those conditions. So it's a hard thing for us to do.

"From our perspective, what we've tried to do is try to have pitches that have pace and bounce in them, hopefully, because we are seam-bowling heavy and our top-order batters are really good against quick bowling.

"We try to work closely with the curators to try to make sure we get exactly what we want, and to be fair to them, they are trying really hard to deliver that. But at this stage of the year, there has been a lot of cricket on this square - the WPL was here, a lot of other cricket was here - so we haven't always got that here.

"The simple answer is that it's not that easy to gain home advantage at the Chinnaswamy. It's the sort of place where everybody fancies having a go at a big score and if you get on the wrong side of the toss, it's difficult to defend."

After six games, RCB have just one win and are at the bottom of the points table. A big reason behind that has been the lack of runs from their overseas batters, particularly Glenn Maxwell.

Last IPL, Maxwell had smashed 400 runs at an average of 33.33 and a strike rate of 183.48. This time he has managed only 32 runs in six innings. Only once has he lasted beyond five balls - against Kolkata Knight Riders, when he made a 19-ball 28 with the help of two dropped catches. His current average of 5.33 is the lowest for an overseas batter who has batted in the top five at least six times in an IPL season.

"Look, firstly, he is disappointed," Bobat said of Maxwell. "He obviously has high standards, and he has had a very impressive 12 to 24 months. He is a really important part of our batting line-up, particularly in those middle overs where we want to attack spin bowling, in particular, of which he is one of the best players in the world. We are trying to support him as best we can and help him find his best form."

Mohammed Siraj is having a similar slump in the bowling department. He was RCB's highest wicket-taker in IPL 2023 with 19 scalps at an economy of 7.50. This year, he has picked up just four wickets from six games at an eye-watering economy of 10.40.

"He probably feels himself that he hasn't quite been at his best," Bobat said. "We all know Mohammed Siraj is a sort of player that when he is on song, you can see his rhythm, his body language, he is aggressive. So we are trying to help him get back to that place where he can trust his best ball and bowl with aggression. But it's difficult to show that body language and intent when you're not feeling quite confident.

"There aren't quick fixes to some of these things, and the coaches are working hard to support the players. But look, what is true is that we're talking about some champion cricketers who will find their form, we just hope it's sooner rather than later."

In their previous game, against Mumbai Indians, RCB tried changing the personnel, bringing in Will Jacks for Cameron Green. It didn't bring immediate success but Bobat is hopeful a couple of wins will put their campaign on the right track.

"We're getting close to the halfway point of the competition, and there's no hiding away from the fact that we haven't played the way we want to play," Bobat said. "When you go into the competition, you work out what your best chances of winning are. You set the strategy, and you come in and you expect the players to deliver.

"What you try next is you look at different selection options, different combinations. We have already looked at a couple of different personnel changes, and we will continue to think about whether any selection changes can enhance the team.

"And selection is only one tool. There are other ways to improve the team as well. One really pleasing thing is the team environment feels very strong and the players are very well-connected. As most of us have been involved in league cricket, we spend time in environments... when you get bad results, the environment isn't always healthy. I think our environment is excellent - the captain [Faf du Plessis] and coach [Andy Flower] deserve a lot of credit for that. So if we can get one or two performances under our belt and play the way we want to play, I think that will turn it around."